CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office says they've identified a suspect in the late Sunday night shooting of one of their own. Investigators are currently attempting to locate the suspect.
"I heard the cop sirens, stepped out on the back porch, not even two steps later I heard the shots," said Gather King, who came to the aid of the deputy.
Deputy Jordan Sherill, 21, who was shot on Cheraw Road near Pisgah Church Road around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, July 15, has been with the office a little over a year. King says he was inside his kitchen playing guitar when he heard the shots.
"I went running into the house, told my wife to call 911. When I got to the front door, she told me someone was speeding off. I saw the cop car wasn't moving, so I knew he was shot. So I ran down there to help him," he said.
Police say the deputy was shot as he was approaching a car during a routine traffic stop. He was wearing a protective vest at the time but was hit below the vest.
King says he ran barefoot down his gravel driveway with only shorts on. When he got to the deputy, he says he found that young man clutching his right side.
"Right when I got to him he hollered out that he'd been shot. I asked him where and he was holding his belly. He was hurting. You could tell he was in pain," King said.
King says his training from Lenoir Rescue quickly kicked in.
"Right at first I didn't know the bullet had gone through. I saw a place on his gun belt that looked torn. That's when I had him turn over and I saw it and sandwiched it with both hands," King said.
A few minutes later, he says, EMS arrived. They airlifted the deputy to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for surgery. The Sheriff's Office says Sherill is now out of surgery and will be okay.
"I'm thankful I was there to help and that he's going to be OK," King said.
Authorities are still searching for the suspect, who they say is a white man. A white woman was also in the blue Toyota sedan with North Carolina License Plate AFJ-5570.
They released photos of the vehicle on Monday.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 758-2324. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in the shooting.